Top brands

Intangible Business evaluates business intangibles.

The company asserts it is the world’s leading independent brand evaluation consultancy, specializing in valuing brands for financial, management, and litigation purposes. When Intangible Business speaks, big money listens.

There is news in the 2014 Intangible Business report on “still wine” brands (sparkling wines have their own category). Chilean maker Concha y Toro vaulted into No. 1 spot, elbowing long-time leader Gallo into second place. The evaluation reflects ascendance of Chilean wines on the world stage.

Robert Mondavi moved into the No. 3 spot, moving past Hardys, the Aussie maker. Gallo finds solace that Barefoot—owned by Gallo—sprinted to No. 5, in front of Yellowtail. Barefoot did not even make the list in 2013.

The remainder of dozen most-powerful still wine brands include Sutter Home, Beringer, Jacobs Creek, Lindeman’s, Blossom Hill, Wolf Blass.

Strongest brands in spirits and wines include Johnnie Walker, Bacardi, Jack Daniel’s, Smirnoff Vodka, Captain Morgan, Hennessy, Dom Pérignon, Moët et Chandon, Martini Vermouth, Veuve Clicquot. If these brands come easily to mind, that is what Intangible Business measures.

Brand-ranking focuses on big dogs. However, little guys—brands that never register in Intangible’s parsings can provide delights. Try something this week you’ve never heard of before. Fat-cat brands will survive without you for a day or two.

Tasting notes:
• Concha y Toro Casillero del Diablo Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 (10% carmenere). Bright cherry, plum, toasty oak; smooth tannins, medium body, big value from Chile’s big producer. $10
• Viña San Esteban Rio Alto Private Collection 2010. Bold, very easy drinker; cab-carmenère, syrah; black currant, mint; soft tannin; Chilean value play. $10
• Franciscan Estate Napa Valley Chardonnay 2011. Pear, green apple, citrus, melon, vanilla, pat of butter; creamy, complex, crisp, balanced. $18
• Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Pinot Noir 2010. Plum, cherry, blackberry, vanilla, pepper hint; lush, creamy, good finish; excellent effort. $27
Last round: I always keep a bottle of Dom Pérignon in the fridge for special occasions. Sometimes the special occasion is I have Dom Pérignon in the fridge.

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